After arriving at the base, we knocked on the front door, mumbling came from inside, along with some shushing. I looked at Nella as she leaned towards the door and yelled “it’s us!”
Suddenly, dozens of clicks and clacks came from the fortified metal door. It had been made from recycled Authority patrol troop bodies and appeared to be very roughly welded together. You could even still make out some of the pieces. At last, the clicking stopped with the loud creak of the fortress doors opening.
Standing there was a girl, maybe eight or nine years old, who was put on door duty. Her eyes lit up as we carried the goods in and she ran off to tell her parents.
I looked around as dozens of cheering people emerged from the various rooms. Nella put her hand on my shoulder and said “you did good”, followed by her running off to see her family.
The operation had lasted about three days. We never had any established communication with home base, so I could only imagine how worried they were. Suddenly I saw my brother lunge towards me.
“You’re back!” he exclaimed.
I smiled. I looked around at all the smiling faces, all of the people I’ve come to consider family. I turned my head to the door. I looked on in horror. It hadn’t been closed since we entered and in it was standing a seven-foot tall Authority robot.
I let out a scream as the robot shot and hit my arm. “Holy crap!” I muttered as I realised just what had happened. The happy celebratory atmosphere of the base was not turned into a warzone.
I watched in horror as my friends were mowed down by those things. Those machines.
I looked behind me and froze as I saw my brother laying face-down o nthe ground. This wasn’t real. This couldn’t be real. We had known everything about the Authority. We could’ve –
Suddenly my thought was cut off by Nella grabbing my shoulder yet again. “Come on!” she exclaimed, throwing me towards a nearby vent that had been modified to become an easy escape route. Nobody every expected that we’d have to use it.
As I crawled through the vents I recalled what my late father had told me before he died. Something about… never underestimating people. Complacency. The word looped in my head over and over. Complacency. We thought that the Authority were just so predictable. Complacency. In reality it was us. Complacency. And now all those people were dead.